Charlize Theron Covers Vogue U.K., Talks New Baby, Modeling, and Using Her Looks

Charlize Theron Vogue U.K. May 2012 cover
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Charlize Theron fronts Vogue U.K.'s May issue.

For someone who's just welcomed a new baby, Charlize Theron looks pretty darn poised (and, predictably, gorgeous) on the May cover of Vogue U.K., oozing old Hollywood glamour in an icy blue silk Versace gown paired with Jimmy Choo resin heels, Dicha crystal and quartz earrings, a Grace Kelly-esque hairdo, and—what's this?—a not-so-Grace-Kelly-esque ankle tattoo.

Inside, the Oscar winner poses for Patrick Demarchelier in a sexy crystal-embroidered Rosa Mosario bra worn under a Luisa Beccaria tulle dress, while the rest of the shoot sees her showing some brand loyalty in Dior's coral-pink pleated silk chiffon dress and a white lace gown.

Of course, not all of her fashion moments have been this flawless. "That f***ing walk, so hard to do," she says of her famous undressing-while-strutting Dior fragrance ad, adding that her recent attempts to replicate it have resulted in some embarrassing moments.

"I was in a hotel recently, all dressed up to go down to a function, and I did the walk in the corridor leading to the elevator. But I was wearing patent shoes, and they got stuck to each other, and I ended up falling into the lift as the doors opened. The whole thing got caught on the security camera. It was hilarious."

Accidents aside, Theron is still in demand as a fashion brand ambassador, though she says her modeling career got off to a rocky start.

"I was too tall, too big, too late for the supermodel look of the '80s," she tells the magazine. "Kate Moss and all the tiny, grungy girls had just become fashionable, and I didn't fit the bill."

A chance encounter at a bank—where a talent manager spied Theron arguing with a bank teller who wouldn't cash her out-of-state check—paved the way to Hollywood, where the actress says she's focusing on playing characters that aren't necessarily known for their beauty.

"I think the press make more of me not wanting to play beautiful women than is true," she says, referring to her physical transformation for Monster.

"I am happy to enjoy my looks—and they have been a great asset in my career—but I am fascinated by flawed characters. I grew up in the '70s on films like Kramer vs. Kramer, where the women were not the sympathetic role. I think there are less of those films around today. I like the idea of being able to take a character and trying to find an understanding as to why they have become the way they are. All my characters have to be people with a capacity for vulnerability, a weakness,. I have never met a human being who doesn't have vulnerability."

These days, Theron's soft spot is her newly adopted baby son Jackson, whom she calls "the coolest kid ever."

"I've always been very honest in saying I wanted a family," she adds, calling motherhood "incredible, the greatest gift."

Though her next role will see her playing the vicious Evil Queen in Snow White and the Huntsman, Theron says that in real life she "couldn't be happier." Don't you just love a good fairy-tale ending?